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The (lack of) effect of dynamic visual noise on the concreteness effect in short-term memory

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It has been suggested that the concreteness effect in short-term memory (STM) is a consequence of concrete words having more distinctive and richer semantic representations. The generation and storage of visual codes in STM could also play a crucial role on the effect because concrete words are more imaginable than abstract words. If this were the case, the introduction of a visual interference task would be expected to disrupt recall of concrete words. A Dynamic Visual Noise (DVN) display, which has been proven to eliminate the concreteness effect on long-term memory (LTM), was presented along encoding of concrete and abstract words in a STM serial recall task. Results showed a main effect of word type, with more item errors in abstract words, a main effect of DVN, which impaired global performance due to more order errors, but no interaction, suggesting that DVN did not have any impact on the concreteness effect. These findings are discussed in terms of LTM participation through redintegration processes and in terms of the language-based models of verbal STM.
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Keywords: Verbal short-term memory; concreteness effect; dynamic visual noise; visual interference

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Basic, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona 2: Faculty of Psychology, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

Publication date: November 26, 2018

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